For American devoted boat people – fisherman, niceasicminer hunters and water skiers there used to be only three choices of outboard engines and motors in their lives – these were “Mercury” “Johnson ” and “Evinrude”. You were generally and essentially loyal to one brand for the most part – that branded that outdoorsman in their clan and indeed in geographic areas there were great brand loyalties – often as a result of availability via excellent and exceptional dealer service. People (that were these sportspeople were generally “Merc” “Johnson “or “Evinrude” people. True from time to time they may have been forced to use their brands of non-preference but yet in their minds they usually did these begrudgingly and as well for as short a time as possible. Its not the other brands were inferior – it was basically personal deep seating preference. This article deals mainly with the Mercury outboard motors their basic philosophy and loyal customer base.
Three decades after Mercury Marine founder, Carl Kiekhaefer left the firm, employees still used to use their proud phrase to describe themselves that they “bled black”. It can be said that this phrase is sort of verbal shorthand and a deeply held summary of internal values of their community to describe a Mercury culture rooted in innovation, ambition and loyalty. It’s a cult community, a “tribe” of like minded individuals long before the days of Facebook and building your brand via common shared and held values. It can be said that at Mercury and in their community that the energy, energies and innovative spirit that drove workers to achieve prodigious feats in engineering and workmanship still permeates the company. Sure in 2011 with globalization upon us, many of the products are actually made and manufactured “overseas” in Japan and China. Yet the basis philosophies, engineering and engineering decisions and indeed a stamp that it’s for the Mercury Outboard group community is of one of an American product and essence first and foremost.
In the auto industry it’s the reverse. Decisions for most Japanese auto products, even if made in the US and American South mainly are products whose basic decisions and engineering are done back at “home office “be it Japan or South Korea. Not so with Mercury Outboard engine products. A Mercury outboard engine is still considered an American product no matter where it was actually manufactured on the globe.
True to the point – many die hard Mercury outboard enthusiasts will still insist no matter what that their tried and true source of transportation to their favorite weekend fishing hole or for water skiing at their favorite lake is strictly American product. On top of that they will proudly tell you that they “bleed black”.